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  1. #1
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    Schools must provide sports for disabled, US says

    http://www.centurylink.net/news/read...&cps=0&lang=en

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Students with disabilities must be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues, the Education Department says.

    Disabled students who want to play for their school could join traditional teams if officials can make "reasonable modifications" to accommodate them. If those adjustments would fundamentally alter a sport or give the student an advantage, the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs.

    "Sports can provide invaluable lessons in discipline, selflessness, passion and courage, and this guidance will help schools ensure that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to benefit from the life lessons they can learn on the playing field or on the court," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said in a statement announcing the new guidance Friday.

    More at link.....


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  2. #2
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    My first reaction is "Good!"

    But then I wonder if tone-deaf students must be given leads in the school musical?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    My first reaction is "Good!"

    But then I wonder if tone-deaf students must be given leads in the school musical?
    LOL...Is a musical considered a sport? IDK but anyway, they do say this:

    Education Department officials emphasized they did not intend to change sports traditions dramatically or guarantee students with disabilities a spot on competitive teams. Instead, they insisted schools may not exclude students based on their disabilities if they can keep up with their classmates.

    This will be a gradual change:

    "Some cautioned that progress would come in fits and starts initially.

    "Is it easy? No," said Brad Hedrick, director of disability services at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and himself a hall-of-famer in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. "In most places, you're beginning from an inertial moment. But it is feasible and possible that a meaningful and viable programming can be created."


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

  4. #4
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    Reader, I was being partially facetious. (Although a lot of the arguments for performing arts are the same as for organized sports: they teach collaboration, responsibility, etc. Most kids who perform in high school don't even intend to have professional careers in the arts.)

    I guess I don't understand the issue. If the student with a disability can keep up with his or her classmates and his presence isn't a hazard, why would s/he be excluded in the first place?

    Although paraplegics who play basketball are amazing athletes, I can see how the presence of one wheelchair on the court would be unfair and perhaps even hazardous. (I do think schools should be encouraged to form "wheelchair leagues", even if it means making up a team from more than one school.)

    But do schools really keep deaf children, say, from running track? Whatever for?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    Reader, I was being partially facetious. (Although a lot of the arguments for performing arts are the same as for organized sports: they teach collaboration, responsibility, etc. Most kids who perform in high school don't even intend to have professional careers in the arts.)

    I guess I don't understand the issue. If the student with a disability can keep up with his or her classmates and his presence isn't a hazard, why would s/he be excluded in the first place?

    Although paraplegics who play basketball are amazing athletes, I can see how the presence of one wheelchair on the court would be unfair and perhaps even hazardous. (I do think schools should be encouraged to form "wheelchair leagues", even if it means making up a team from more than one school.)

    But do schools really keep deaf children, say, from running track? Whatever for?
    Hi, Nova, I do agree with you about the performing arts being beneficial to students in a lot of the same ways as sports but haven't heard of disabilities keeping students from participating in the arts if they wanted and were able. Maybe there's not the same risk?

    Sports apparently have been handled differently, why, I'm not sure. Maybe because of fear of injuries and being sued, insurance coverage, just a couple of thoughts. Maybe some of the teachers here can help with understanding that. The article does have this:

    Federal laws, including the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act, require states to provide a free public education to all students and prohibit schools that receive federal money from discriminating against students with disabilities. Going further, the new directive from the Education Department's civil rights division explicitly tells schools and colleges that access to interscholastic, intramural and intercollegiate athletics is a right.
    This boy is a good example of one who is already competing in a restricted way but wants to be in the full game:



    In this July 28, 2012 photo provided by Lisa Followay, Casey Followay competes in the the USATF Junior Olympics in Maryland. Breaking new ground, the U.S. Education Department is telling schools Friday, Jan. 25,
    2013, they must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternative options. The directive, reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for women, could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come. "I heard about some of the other people who joined their track teams in other states. I wanted to try to do that," said 15-year-old Casey Followay, who competes on his Ohio high school track team in a racing wheelchair. Current rules require Followay to race on his own, without competitors running alongside him. He said he hopes the Education Department guidance will change that and he can compete against runners.(AP Photo/Lisa Followay)


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

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    Reader, I think a wheelchair in a dance routine could be as problematic as a wheelchair in a crowded foot race. Or not, if the chair is properly integrated into the movement, as GLEE proves every week.

    I don't know Mr. Followay's event, but if I picture a crowd of runners jostling for the lead in a crowded lane, I think a metal chair might indeed be a hazard. I'm also not sure of the fairness, since a wheelchair is propelled by an entirely different muscle group.

    This isn't to say I don't respect Followay's achievement, but I'm not sure how one accommodates all distinctions and still achieves a level playing field.

  7. #7
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    If they really choose to accomodate the disabled that want and can compete according to the new law, it seems there could be wider lanes made for the wheelchairs to run in, or either have separate sections of the course for runners and wheelchairs. There are not always level playing fields in any sports it seems to me (what little I see now)....each team or player has different strengths and weaknesses, and someone is going to prevail unless there is a tie...If the disabled player wants to take that chance and compete, why not let them?


    "The further we (as the human race) grow away from the natural world, the quieter the natural world becomes and the more pathological we become as a culture."........Bernie Krause

    The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy—a policy worthy of imitation......which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.......George Washington

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reader View Post
    If they really choose to accomodate the disabled that want and can compete according to the new law, it seems there could be wider lanes made for the wheelchairs to run in, or either have separate sections of the course for runners and wheelchairs. There are not always level playing fields in any sports it seems to me (what little I see now)....each team or player has different strengths and weaknesses, and someone is going to prevail unless there is a tie...If the disabled player wants to take that chance and compete, why not let them?
    Because the hazard isn't just to the disabled player, but to the other competitors as well.

    Yes, teams are often uneven in terms of skill levels, but we don't allow the weaker team to use special equipment to make up the difference.

    Special lanes for wheelchair racers doesn't change the fact that wheeling a chair is an entirely different activity than running on two legs. (Accommodations are already made for runners with prostheses and I think that's a good thing, though even there a question has arisen as to whether modern prosthetic feet aren't superior to natural feet.)

    As a rule, I'm all for accommodating ADA students and I certainly made every effort to do so as a college professor. But I think the issues get much more complicated when it comes to innately physical competitions.

    I'm old, slow and not very athletic: maybe I can compete by riding a motorcycle around the track, eh?

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    Maybe the motorcycle racing could fall under this provision
    ..."the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs".

    If there is no danger involved in the disabled students and the rest of them taking part in the same sport and the only problem is that the disabled student may do better than some or all the non-disabled students I don't really see why that is a problem. Someone is always going to do better than the others anyway. Why can't it be a disabled student every once in a while?

  10. #10
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    However, When competing in school there are kids who are cut from the team. The best players make it, The ones who are not do not. I think competition is good for kids and this new culture of give everybody a trophy for showing up is just making kids feel they are entitled instead of having to earn anything.

    That being said, I think that all children should have an opportunity to play sports, That is why there are the paralympics and the disabled leagues. Our kids little league has a field and a special team for children with Autism and disabilities to get the opportunity to play also.

    I am all for kids trying out for the main team but what I worry about is if they don't make it, will their parents sue? Will they take sports in school and take them away from those who make the team on merit to make places for those who don't.

    Most kids use sports as their ticket to college. They need those scholarships to get in. This concerns me.
    Last edited by ScarlettScarpetta; 01-30-2013 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Added words, took out redundant statement
    Atticus Finch: “You never really understand a person . . . until you consider things from his point of view.” To Kill A Mockingbird

    All my posts are my opinion only.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donjeta View Post
    Maybe the motorcycle racing could fall under this provision
    ..."the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to traditional programs".

    If there is no danger involved in the disabled students and the rest of them taking part in the same sport and the only problem is that the disabled student may do better than some or all the non-disabled students I don't really see why that is a problem. Someone is always going to do better than the others anyway. Why can't it be a disabled student every once in a while?
    If you were swimming a triathlon as I went zooming by on a jet-ski, I think the "problem" might be apparent.

    Yes, after a certain age, all competitions have winners and losers. But they win or lose based on their own ability, not the use of special equipment. (There are regulations of the content of baseball bats, the size and shape of balls, helmets, pads, etc. and so forth.)

    Of course amputees will use prostheses, but if a prosthesis poses a hazard or conveys an advantage, then it's time for a "parallel program". I am all for "parallel programs", Donjeta.

  12. #12
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    If an amputee wins a running competition and the others had the nerve to complain they would be just petty and sore losers in my eyes. He wouldn't need the special equipment if he had his own legs. Everybody would saw their legs off if it was an advantage. They don't, so...

    I would take my own two feet over prostheses any time, even if I could run lightning fast... I've worked with amputees and on the whole I think their running prowess has been for the most part greatly exaggerated. It's a tough rehab, not completely devoid of pain, and if someone succeeds and heals well enough to run lightning fast, good for him. No one can say with a straight face that he worked any less than the other students for his running ability and doesn't deserve to win.

    Jet-ski vs swimming is nowhere comparable to running with legs and prostheses imo, it's not even in the same ballpark. I don't think anyone is suggesting that jet skis should be introduced in triathlon competitions.

    Edit:
    Amputee runners's two best times in the 100 m race:
    The single-leg amputee charged to victory in 10.90 in the T34/44 100m – the second fastest time in history behind his own world record – and left Oscar Pistorius trailing in fourth place.
    Peacock, the Cambridge-born sprinting sensation who recorded the fastest time ever by an amputee when he ran 10.85 seconds earlier this year, was up against Pistorius, one of the biggest names of this Olympic and Paralympic summer.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012...k-medal-target

    The world record in 100m running with legs is 9.58


    Granted, fewer people run with prostheses than with legs so there is a greater pool of talent in the legs race but based on the records an amputation doesn't seem to make you so much faster that the fast two-legged runners should be worried. If you're a slow two-legged runner then it's probably not totally unfair if you don't always win.

    I think the programs should be inclusive whenever possible because of the practical difficulty in creating parallel programs (particularly in team sports) when there are very few similarly disabled students in the same age group in the same school or school district and they may not all be interested in the same sport. The non-disabled kids can suck it up imo.
    Last edited by Donjeta; 01-30-2013 at 07:31 PM.

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    I know everyone is thinking wheelchairs, but could this help the learning disabled who consistently make poor grades in some subjects and haven't been allowed to play because of that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by txsvicki View Post
    I know everyone is thinking wheelchairs, but could this help the learning disabled who consistently make poor grades in some subjects and haven't been allowed to play because of that?
    No- they have to make the same grades required of a non disabled student. If they are making poor grades- it is a reflection of needed IEP changes or violation of folks not following a well written and appropriate IEP.

    Been there- done that.

  15. #15
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    Donjeta et al.,

    I actually agree with you all and the spirit of this ruling. I'm just trying to think about the ramifications. Even if prosthetics don't convey an unfair advantage now, what about 5 years from now? I don't think a blanket ruling re disabled students is quite the same as one re equal opportunities for females.

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